Access to Justice

  • December 14, 2022

    Settlement Paves Way To Close NY Rent Aid Application Portal

    New York has reached a settlement agreement to stop accepting federal rental assistance applications as soon as mid-January, nearly a year after a state court forced one of the country's largest pandemic aid programs back open in the hopes of additional funding.

  • December 08, 2022

    Civil Legal Aid Caseload Growth 'Remarkable' Amid Pandemic

    The COVID-19 pandemic had civil legal aid organizations scrambling to help low-income Americans in 2021, especially in the area of housing.

  • December 07, 2022

    Scandal-Plagued DC Housing Agency Faces Reform Demands

    The independent government agency that manages thousands of affordable public housing units and the housing voucher program in the nation's capital faces a growing chorus of demands for reform amid accusations of far-reaching mismanagement and corruption and deeply rooted funding problems.

  • December 02, 2022

    In Justice Reforms, Court Communities Are Often Overlooked

    A senior policy advisor to the National Institute of Justice's Office of Research, Evaluation, and Technology stressed considering the roles of local courtroom communities when legislatures design criminal justice reforms in a study published this week that explores local practices' influence on criminal case processing and sentencing outcomes.

  • December 02, 2022

    Screening, Supervision Key To Avoiding Pro Bono Errors

    Accusations of malpractice in pro bono cases, while rare, can be avoided by carefully vetting such cases, researching unfamiliar practice areas and being sure to supervise newer attorneys, experts say.

  • December 02, 2022

    Morgan Lewis Helps Free Man Convicted By DA Misconduct

    A team of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP attorneys recently helped a pro bono client who was wrongfully convicted of a New Orleans murder during an era of prosecutorial misconduct walk out of prison a free man after 35 years at Angola State Penitentiary.

  • December 02, 2022

    7th Circ. To Decide Which Groups Can Pay Bail In Indiana

    The Bail Project, an organization that bails criminal defendants out of jail for free in 20 states in service of a mission to abolish cash bail, is heading to the Seventh Circuit next week to challenge an Indiana law that it says unfairly restricts its ability to release indigent defendants back to their communities.

  • December 01, 2022

    Del. Stands Out Among States In Curbing 'Unjust' Fines, Fees

    The national outlook for doing away with "unjust" judicial fines and fees remains grim, but Delaware showed significant strides by making key reforms during the past year, an access to justice watchdog said in a report released Thursday.

  • November 29, 2022

    Georgetown Law Program Will Embed Technologists In Courts

    Georgetown University Law Center on Tuesday announced the launch of a new fellowship that will embed technologists and software designers in state, local and tribal courts in order to develop tech-based solutions to improve access to the judicial system.

  • November 18, 2022

    Hotels' Push To Counter Sex Trafficking Wins Mixed Reviews

    Amid a growing wave of criminal and civil suits aimed at hotels for alleged facilitation of sex trafficking, the hospitality industry has embraced a more proactive approach to identifying and responding to the crime. Here, Law360 looks at the focus of such efforts as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

  • November 18, 2022

    Justice Center Leader's Journey From Prison To Changemaker

    Derrick Hamilton, deputy director of Cardozo School of Law's Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice, studied law while in prison and won his own exoneration after serving a 21-year sentence. Today, he hopes to make big changes in the justice system to ensure others don't need to do the same.

  • November 18, 2022

    Ending Cash Bail In Illinois Brings Hope, Lawsuits, Confusion

    Money will no longer determine whether someone in Illinois stays in jail while facing charges starting Jan. 1, a monumental shift cheered by criminal justice advocates and denounced by prosecutors who have filed dozens of lawsuits as the state prepares to be the first in the U.S. to entirely eliminate cash bail.

  • November 18, 2022

    Boies Schiller Helps Florida Kids Get Better Medicaid Care

    A team of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP attorneys recently wrapped up a 16-year pro bono battle with the state of Florida where they fought to expand benefits for 2 million children who depend on Medicaid for their health and dental care.

  • November 18, 2022

    How This Ex-3rd Circ. Judge Is Helping Former Prisoners

    Former federal Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie was instrumental in building two reentry programs for formerly incarcerated people, and he's still helping their participants rejoin society even after leaving the bench.

  • November 17, 2022

    Key Issues Emerge Around Hotels' Liability For Sex-Trafficking

    For hotel owners and operators, accusations of involvement in the sex trade run the gamut — from being an unwitting accomplice to turning a blind eye to active complicity. While litigation in the space is still evolving, Law360 assesses early trends and emerging legal questions.

  • November 17, 2022

    Texas Mulls More Non-Attorney Help For Low-Income Clients

    The State Bar of Texas alerted its members Thursday that a state commission is looking into providing more access to legal services, including using non-attorneys, for low-income parties in the Lone Star State after the Supreme Court of Texas sent a letter encouraging proposals.

  • November 17, 2022

    Career DOJ Atty Tapped For New Environmental Justice Office

    The U.S. Department of Justice has tapped a longtime veteran to serve as the first permanent director of the newly established Office of Environmental Justice.

  • November 16, 2022

    Hotels Face New Risks As Women Travel For Abortions

    Abortion-related travel has been rising ever since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and hotels may get swept into criminal investigations of women who cross state lines to get abortions as laws change around the country, lawyers warn.

  • November 16, 2022

    Reforms Urged As Mich. Debt Collection Caseload Grows

    Debt collection lawsuits are "dominating" Michigan's civil court system and the state should do more to help debtors defend themselves in court, a Michigan Supreme Court commission said Wednesday.

  • November 16, 2022

    Despite Reforms, Parolees Had Trouble Voting In Midterms

    Even though years have passed since some states restored voting rights to parolees, flawed implementation led to confusion that prevented some from voting in the midterm election last week, activists said at a virtual event.

  • November 01, 2022

    Justice Jackson Warns Of Roadmap For States To Defy Court

    Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson said Tuesday that if the U.S. Supreme Court sides with Arizona in a capital case over whether a death row inmate was properly denied post-conviction relief, the ruling could give states a roadmap for defying the high court's criminal law decisions.

  • October 31, 2022

    Legal Services Orgs Partner To Streamline Pro Bono Process

    Pro bono management platform Paladin and case management company LegalServer will integrate their systems as part of a partnership with Legal Aid Chicago to streamline service to indigent clients, Chicago's largest legal services organization said Monday.

  • October 28, 2022

    Habeas Case May Open Prison Door For Retroactive Innocents

    When the Supreme Court rules on criminal law, it sometimes makes prisoners retroactively innocent of their crimes. This court term, in a case involving a Missouri man imprisoned for over 20 years for possessing a gun as a felon, the court will clarify whether federal prisoners can file writs of habeas corpus after new case law makes them legally innocent.

  • October 28, 2022

    Implicit Bias Jury Instructions: Coming To Military Courts?

    Implicit bias jury instructions, which are widely used by civilian courts to educate jurors about their inherent biases, could be coming soon to court-martial proceedings following significant changes to the military justice system over the last year.

  • October 28, 2022

    Miriam Krinsky On The Work Of Reform-Minded Prosecutors

    Miriam Krinsky, executive director of the nonprofit organization Fair and Just Prosecution, recently came out with a book examining prosecutors throughout the U.S. who have used the power of their offices to pursue reforms in the criminal justice system. Here, Krinsky discusses the experiences of these prosecutors and the future they are trying to build.

Expert Analysis

  • How Attys Can Help As Addiction Cases Rise Post-Pandemic

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    The increase in alcohol and drug consumption during the pandemic is predicted to result in an influx of legal cases, but attorneys can establish a solid defense by ensuring their clients begin the journey to recovery, says Sue Bright at New Directions for Women.

  • We Must Do Better Than Hasty Police Reforms

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    Lawmakers are racing to enact police legislation in response to the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, but this once-in-a-generation opportunity cannot be squandered by hastily drafted bills and rushed changes, says Marisa Darden at Squire Patton.

  • Unfairness In Prisoner Litigation Is Baked Into Statute

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    Inmate litigants have a new hurdle to clear because of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this month in Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez, but the court merely did as Congress said in the Prison Litigation Reform Act, says David Shapiro at the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center.

  • Police Reform Must Also Address Federal Law Enforcement

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    The recently introduced Justice in Policing Act is an important step against police brutality, but without express accountability for federal agents, the bill fails to address a gaping hole in the law, says Cori Alonso-Yoder at the American University Washington College of Law.

  • Extended State Foster Care Is A Necessity During COVID-19

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    Foster children turning 18 in the midst of the pandemic are extremely vulnerable to homelessness and exploitation, so states have an obligation to issue moratoriums on discharging young adults from their care, says Alexandra Dufresne at Zurich University.

  • 'Unauthorized Practice Of Law' Rules Promote Racial Injustice

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    By prohibiting nonlawyer professionals from providing meaningful legal assistance, state rules on unauthorized practice of law guarantee that black Americans don't have equal opportunities and rights under the law, and every state supreme court and bar association has the duty to reform them, says Rohan Pavuluri at Upsolve.

  • COVID-19 Crisis Brings Opportunity To Improve Legal Aid

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    The legal community must figure out how to use the adaptations necessitated by the pandemic to permanently improve the legal services delivery model and narrow the justice gap, says Rebecca Rapp at Ascendium Education Group.

  • Illinois Must Do More To Protect Consumers In Debt

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    A recent Illinois Supreme Court order limiting debt collectors' ability to freeze personal bank accounts during the pandemic is progress, but it does not solve the underlying issue that debt courts are rigged against low-income people, says Ashlee Highland at CARPLS Legal Aid.

  • The Case Against Solitary Confinement During Pandemic

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    Prisons and corrections systems must ensure that medical isolation during the pandemic does not devolve into prolonged solitary confinement that unduly burdens the individual liberty of people behind bars, says Marc Levin at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

  • Coping With A Pandemic: McCarter & English's Abdul Rehman

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    As society continues to adapt to COVID-19, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community. Today's perspective comes from Newark-based Abdul Rehman Khan, pro bono fellow for the city of Newark at McCarter & English.

  • Legal Aid Needs Law Firm Support Now More Than Ever

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    With the need for pro bono services expected at unprecedented levels in the wake of the pandemic, and funding sources for legal aid organizations under severe stress, law firm leaders need to take measures to fill the gap, says Jeffrey Stone, chairman emeritus at McDermott.

  • Coping With A Pandemic: Cleveland Legal Aid's Colleen Cotter

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    As society continues to adapt to COVID-19, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community. Today's perspective comes from Colleen Cotter, executive director at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

  • Problems With Tolling The Speedy Trial Act During Pandemic

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    A plethora of federal courts have responded to social distancing requirements by entering blanket orders tolling compliance with Speedy Trial Act deadlines, but because there is no case-by-case analysis of their need and other factors, the orders raise questions about whether such tolling efforts are valid, say attorneys at Winston & Strawn.

  • Guantanamo 9/11 Trial Is A Failure

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    The Guantanamo military commissions — seemingly a contrived attempt to avoid federal criminal court and thereby insulate the CIA from the legal implications of its torture program — appear fatally flawed, so Congress should have the 9/11 defendants tried in civilian criminal court, says Patrick Doherty at Ropes & Gray.

  • Data Is Key To Stopping COVID-19 Spread In Prisons

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    There is an urgent need for state and county officials to publicly share accurate data about COVID-19 testing, infections and deaths in jails and prisons, so that effective, life-saving changes can be made to the criminal justice system, say criminologists Oren Gur, Jacob Kaplan and Aaron Littman.

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